I attended a text chat presentation today with the catchy title: "Are people in virtual worlds normal?" It was given by Pebbles Hannya (aka Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD), managing director of Market Truths. She discussed her company's recent Psychographic Segments and Media Consumption report.
The bottom line (which is what counts, right?) was that Second Life participants fit nicely into some of the same segments that normal people are grouped within. Ideally, marketers won't have to reinvent the wheel to design advertising that appeals to us avatars. As usual, I have a few thoughts on the fringes of the main question. I'll share two for now:
- The environment and culture of Second Life is so unique that I doubt it makes sense to port meatspace marketing. The first wave of corporate marketers are pulling out because the tried and true methods don't cut it.
- Second Life is so data-rich that marketing can be almost completely personalized. I recently saw a poster that pulls the image from a nearby avatar's profile and displays it. No good reason that it couldn't pull other info from the profile, picks, etc. and create a completely customized message.